Star cutting back on free newspapers

Dateline: Tue 09 Dec 2008

For several years, the Indianapolis Star was able to distribute free newspapers at college campuses, thanks to grants that allowed the practice. I'm confident those freebies -- which the paper was paid to donate -- were used to figure into circulation numbers, which gave an inflated and inaccurate notion of how well-read the daily paper was. I know at DePauw University in Greencastle, the daily Star was delivered and largely ignored by students; there were always stacks of it at the Student Union, untouched.

Now, it seems, the grant money has dried up. Following is a notice sent out by University of Indianapolis:

"UIndy Students, Faculty and Staff-

"The University of Indianapolis has enjoyed being a part of the Indianapolis Star Readership Program since 2002. The program has provided nearly 450,000 papers to our campus during this time, all free of charge to us thanks to grants from the Star and its Indiana NIE Foundation.

"Due to the cost, the Star has made the decision to discontinue the Readership Program on all college campuses. The newspaper will not be delivered to the University in the free open racks after December 31; however, we are working with the Star to install boxes in strategic locations on campus where newspapers may be purchased.

"In addition, I would like to remind the campus that newspaper channels may be added to your My UIndy tabs through the Content/Layout link in the upper left corner.

Available news sources include the Indianapolis Star, NY Times, the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio.

"We'll miss the free papers, but given the current troubled state of the newspaper industry this announcement is not unexpected or unwarranted. Your understanding is

appreciated.

Daniel Stoker

Executive Director, Student Services

University of Indianapolis"

Again, a shame, as well as a sign of the times.

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